St. Boniface by-election campaign hits home stretch

News source from CTV News

It’s summer vacation season, but candidates are hard at work hitting doorsteps in St. Boniface.

A provincial by election is around the corner as candidates make their push down the home stretch.

The seat was vacated by former NDP premier Greg Selinger earlier this year, in the wake of the Stan Struthers scandal.

“It is my plan to retire as a member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba,” said Selinger in February.

This race could be a litmus test for current NDP leader Wab Kinew. The party is trying to hold onto the seat held by Selinger since 1999.

Carrying the NDP banner, Blandine Tona, a program coordinator with the Sexuality Education Resource Centre.

“I am so confident,” said Tona, adding the “overwhelming support I’m getting on the doorstep is changing everything.”

A win for Manitoba Liberal leader Dougald Lamont would give him a much needed seat in the legislature and the Liberals official party status, meaning more funding and a chance for Lamont to grill the government in question period.

With a loss, Lamont would still be looking for a spot in the legislative chamber.

“It is a challenge, it is a risk, but I’ve always said we have to take risks,” said Lamont.

A familiar face is running for the Progressive Conservative Party. Professor and small business owner Mamdou Ka finished second to Selinger in the 2016 general election.

“We are fighting to win this riding and I think we are having a good result at the door, we are very confident,” said Ka.

The greens are also in the mix. Francoise Therrien Vrignon, an arts and education program consultant, wants to make a breakthrough for her party. She hopes the by-election format gives her an advantage, saying it “allows people not to determine who the governing party is going to be, but who they are electing as their representative.”

“which means strategic voting is out the window,” said Therrien Vrignon.

Election day is Tuesday, July 17.

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